Friday, July 15, 2016

Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad

I have mentioned before... I love pasta salads in the summer.  They are great to make ahead, take to parties... and they don't get "wilty" or yucky!

I love this hearty pasta salad from Southern Living.  The smoked cheese and artichoke hearts make for great flavor.  I could see adding a black olive... but I have to many "olive haters" in my world.  I made this over the July 4th weekend.  I took some to two different gatherings, and we enjoyed some at home!  I doubled the recipe!  I think this is a keeper!



Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad (adapted from Southern Living)
*I doubled the recipe

1  6 oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts
1  8 oz pkg rotini pasta, cooked and drained
1  7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips or bites
1/2  lb smoked Mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch bites
1/2  5 oz bag of baby spinach leaves (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2  4.5 can chopped green chiles, drained (I didn't use these)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, minced
Garnish - tomato wedges, spinach leaves or a little shredded Parmesan cheese

Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade.  Cut artichoke hearts in bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.  Add pasta and next four ingredients, tossing gently.  Stir together the reserved artichoke marinade, mayonnaise and the next four ingredients until blended.  Add to pasta mixture, gently stirring to combine.  Cover and chill until ready to eat.

*I only added about half of the artichoke marinade at first...and then added a little more.  I didn't want the dressing too runny. I saved the extra artichoke marinade for the next day.  Pasta salads tend to soak up some of the dressing and I "refreshed" it with a little more marinade.



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